“I’m sorry.” I have been saying that a lot lately. It’s a good thing my family already knows I’m not perfect.
The great big caramel puppy, in desperate need of exercise, bolted from the door this morning. He was followed by six little legs. Angry words of blame and defense spewed from their mouths. My heart sank and I joined them in the chase. The long-legged beast had his run and succumbed to my bribe of treats. Sighing, I told everyone to join me inside.
Three defendants sat in the living room, waiting for their verdict. “I heard a lot of angry words just now, as well as some tattling,” the eldest gulped and the other two turned their gaze downward. I continued, “I need to say something to all of you.”
Children mirror our behavior. They imprint our walk and mimic our talk. What are my children reflecting from me?
I have not been very patient. I have not been kind and I have spoken in anger. I took on more than I could handle and I regretted it. I took it out on them.
Sometimes, the things we take on seem easy. We think one more thing, especially this wee one, won’t make a difference. Some things seem to fit in perfectly. Why say no?
The lightest plate, when added to a tipsy tower, can cause the rest to tumble.
We sent a dog away yesterday. It was heartbreaking. The one that captured our youngest child’s heart, as well as mine, was one too many. Unassuming and mild mannered, she seemed no trouble at all. She was green, though, and lacked training. She made messes and ate my dessert much too often.
Any other time, I might have been up to the task. With a high energy puppy already in need of attention, teaching this old dog new tricks was pushing my patience. Not to mention everything else going on.
Teaching my children, writing for you, (not) keeping up with laundry, planning meals and being a wife and a friend all take time. They need time and deserve my time. These are the things I want to do well.
Of course, there is more. The world does not revolve around me and my desires. We do not have to be the family to save every animal. She was not finding a home here. We were not willing to look anymore and, yet, we were not ready to commit. She needed to go in order to find her forever home. It really is in her best interest to be somewhere else.
What has your reflection in your children taught you?
Have you taken on a noble task only to find you’re not ready for it?
Are you serving someone or something, when it is really not in their best interest that you do so?
Remember that the body has many members and they are not all meant to do the same things. Some tasks are better off fulfilled by someone else. Some tasks may be better off left incomplete. Watch your reflection and be willing to say no. More importantly, be willing to say, “I’m sorry.” God has a purpose for you and it is better than anything you can force into action. Rest in that.
Update: … and sometimes, you compromise. The dog is spending the day at work with Dad and the evenings at home with our family. Broken hearts are mended, for now.